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Taliban claims of retaking 3 northern states seized by Afghan militias

On August 15, local militia groups seized the districts of Bano, Deh Saleh, and Pul e-Hesar in Baghlan province of Afghanistan.
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According to a spokesman for the Taliban, three districts in northern Afghanistan that surrendered to local militia groups last week have been regained. Local militia groups seized the districts of Bano, Deh Saleh, and Pul e-Hesar in Baghlan province, marking one of the first displays of armed opposition to the Taliban since they seized Kabul on Aug. 15.

According to spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s Twitter account, Taliban fighters had cleansed the districts and established themselves in Badakhshan, Takhar, and Andarab near the Panjshir valley by Monday.

Ahmad Massoud’s forces have established themselves in the Panjshir valley, a hilly area northwest of Kabul that resisted the Taliban until 2001. Ahmad Massoud is the son of anti-Soviet mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Massoud, whose forces include remnants of the regular army and special forces, has called for negotiations to form an inclusive government for Afghanistan but has pledged to fight if Taliban forces try to enter the valley. The Taliban’s Alemarah information service stated hundreds of fighters were marching into Panjshir late Sunday, but no fighting has yet been confirmed.

The Salang Pass, on the key highway flowing from southern Afghanistan to the north, was open, according to Zabihullah Mujahid, and enemy forces were blockaded in the Panjshir valley. However, his statement implied that there would be no fighting for the time being.

“The Islamic Emirate is attempting to amicably resolve the issues,” Zabihullah added.

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